Monday, January 21, 2008

Breaking the Law of Energy Conservation

We all know from Physics 101 that the total amount of energy in any isolated system remains constant but can't be recreated, although it may change forms. This is know as the Conservation of Energy Law.

California is toying with a Conservation of Energy Law of its own...
...that would require all new or remodeled homes to have a "programmable communicating thermostat." Equipped with special "nonremovable" FM radio receivers, these devices would allow state power authorities to set the temperature in your home as they see fit. Ostensibly to manage demand during "price events" and other "emergencies," you would basically cede control of your home's heating and air conditioning to the state (when and if state officials wanted to exercise it)...
Unlike the Conservation of Energy Law from Physics, California's law would be easy to circumvent with just a little bit of out-of-the-ice-box thinking.

Just take a few ice-cubes and place them in a zip-lock sandwich bag. Then attach the ice-filled bag to the Big Brother thermostat with a rubber-band and you've put a chill to one of the stupidest ideas to come out of the left-coast...Q.E.D.

California's foolish attempt at a Maoist energy conservation law will hit up against the Law of Supply and Demand.

(HT: Instapundit)

Update/Related (HT: taxmanblog): Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: Unintended Consequences:
In their Jan. 20, 2008, “Freakonomics” column, Dubner and Levitt explore one of the most powerful laws in the universe: the law of unintended consequences. They tell three seemingly unrelated stories — about a deaf woman in Los Angeles, a first-century Jewish sandal maker, and a red-cockaded woodpecker — that illustrate how well-meaning laws can end up hurting the very people (or animals) they were created to protect...


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